Caminha, on the far north-western edge

Written by  //  April 16, 2011  //  visit  //  No comments

CaminhaCaminha offers a taste of traditional Portugal as well as access to Spain’s Galicia region. Sitting on Portugal’s north border, Caminha benefits from enormous sandy beaches that stretch along the Atlantic ocean and the Minho river. A short ferry ride across the river takes you into Spain – so close is it that you can find your phone connecting to a Spanish mobile network instead of a Portuguese one.

Caminha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were Roman settlements here, and some early foritifications due to raids by Arabs and Normans. Not until King Afonso III, though, was a proper castle built here – finished in 1260 – as a defensive position facing Galicia.

CaminhaCaminha

Caminha was an important port for some years, trading with northern Europe, Asia and Africa, but this importance was lost to Viana do Castelo, in its more accessible position in the south-west.

CaminhaCaminha

 

 

 

 

 

 
A drive up to Caminha takes less than an hour from Porto, up the A28 (which now features several automatic toll cameras), and you can easily spend a relaxing day in the town. Take a leisurely stroll along the expansive beach, or just go for a sunbathe and some surfing; site in the main square – Praça do Conselheiro Silva Torres for a coffee and some people watching; visit the museum or just wander around the narrow streets.
Caminha

For tourists looking to see the real Portugal, Caminha is the opposite of the Algarve in more ways than one – opposite end of the country, and you won’t see “full English” and German sausages on the menu. Also, you’ll pay proper Portuguese prices up north compared with the southern hotspots.

Also, if your Spanish is good, you can use it here and not only be understood but you will probably hear good Spanish spoken back to you.

One popular event is the medieval festival, “Feira Medieval de Caminha“.

Steve Masters lives in North Portugal and is the author of this great blog –  www.portugaltraveltips.co.uk.

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